As anyone with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance is aware, it can be difficult to get support from friends, family, and the medical community for a condition that can be so debilitating. A new study, published in the medical journal Archives of Disease in Childhood on January 22, 2015, is giving the gluten-free community reasons to cheer.
What the Study Found
The results of the study revealed that the diagnoses of Celiac Disease among children over the age of two in the UK has tripled over the last two decades. On the surface, this may sound like bad news. However, in an email to Time magazine, an author of the study explains why the number of diagnoses has jumped. She believes that increased awareness and better diagnostic tools are contributing to the rise. In other words, it is not because more children are coming down with Celiac Disease; it is that more of them who are suffering from the disease are being correctly diagnosed.
Another finding from this study shows that children who live in economically depressed areas are half as likely to be diagnosed with Celiac Disease. This finding points directly to the importance of increasing awareness not only among the medical community, but also among the general population as well. When kids have access to great medical care and an educated population that recognizes symptoms, they are more likely get the diagnosis they need.
What this Means to You
In a time when gluten-free fads seem to dominate the diet trends and outspoken celebrities claim that Celiac Disease is “a bunch of baloney,” it can seem like the world isn’t taking your limitations very seriously. It can be hard to stay optimistic about finding safe foods to eat and sympathetic communities to rely on when it seems like there is so much negativity surrounding gluten intolerance. What this study shows, however, is that the people that matter–the medical community–are taking the issue very seriously in spite of which headlines make it to news programs and magazines.
Looking to the Future
As awareness for Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance grows, we can expect more research and more answers. Healthcare providers continue to get better tools for identifying and diagnosing these conditions, and hopefully children who have less access to quality care can find a diagnosis through the channels that are available to them. This will lead to a better quality of life for those living with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance, and that is good news for everyone.